PARABLE of Wheat and Tares – 03

Mysteries of

The Kingdom of the Heavens

Part 03

PARABLE of Wheat and Tares

The parable of Wheat and Tares (Matt.13:24-30) continues the same subject matter introduced in the Parable of the Sower. The Lord Himself gave the explanation for this parable also (Matt.13:36-43). In the first three parts of the Parable of the Sower, we have seen how Satan throughout this dispensation, prevents a vast majority of believers from fruit-bearing. But in the fourth part of that parable, we see some believers who overcome Satan’s methods and schemes and bring forth fruit. They hear and understand the Word of the Kingdom (1Pet.2:2; James 1:21; Acts 20:32), refuse to allow “tribulation and persecution” to hinder their progress toward maturity (John 16:33; 2Tim.3:12; Acts 14:22), keep their eyes focused on the goal out ahead rather than the present world system (Rom.8:18; 2Cor.4:17, 18; Heb.12:16, 17) and bring forth fruit. Such believers will be counted worthy to occupy positions in the coming glorious kingdom. These rewards will be exactly commensurate with their fruit-bearing as we see in Matt.21:43; Matt.20:21-23; 1Cor.3:8, 14, 15; Heb.2:2; 10:35; 11:26.

Satan having succeeded in preventing fruit-bearing in the three parts is now trying to stop the fruit-bearing in the fourth part of the field by sowing counterfeits – counterfeits in relation to fruit-bearing. The Tares are planted among the good seed. The good seeds are the sons of the kingdom (Matt.13:38). In Rom.8:14, 17 we read: as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God – and if children then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. As seen in the previous verses (Rom.8:1-13), those who qualify as joint-heirs of Christ are those saved individuals who do not live after the flesh but they put to death the deeds of the flesh and follow the leadership of the Spirit.

The Tares planted among the good seed are contrary minded individuals which became/gave place to False Teachers giving a False Message relative to the Word of the Kingdom. They were from within – Acts 20:29-32, 1Tim.4:1-3, 2Tim.2:16-18, 3:7, 8, 4:1-4. They were once in the truth but now departed and stand against the Word of the Kingdom. They live after the flesh (2Pet.3:3; Jude 18) and become a source of hindrance, offence and discouragement to those who are fruit-bearing. They are placed by Satan to hinder the proper fruit-bearing Acts 20:30, 2Pet.2:18-20. Since they have the mind of Satan and work in favor of his plans they are called “the sons of the devil.” For example, look at Peter who made the great confession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” But soon after that the Lord called Peter, “Satan!” when Peter was not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

They can be compared to the mixed multitude (Numb.11:4), which traveled along with the children of Israel in their wilderness journey. They were all delivered from the bondage of Egypt by the blood of the Pascal Lambs and they were all journeying toward the Promised Land, but in their hearts they were walking backwards, toward Egypt (Acts 7:39; 1Cor.10:1-5). They can also be compared to the religious leaders of the Israelites, which prevented them from entering into the kingdom (Matt.23:2, 13, 14) and our Lord called them sons of the devil (John 8:31, 37, 39, 44). The same thing is happening in the church. On that day, many leaders of Christendom will be rebuked by our Lord (Matt.7:15-23), and they will have no place in that coming glorious kingdom.

What should we do about these false teachers and unfruitful individuals? Leave them alone, ignore them (Matt.13:29; 15:14) and you continue in fruit-bearing. The two epistles, 2Peter and Jude, are focusing on the dangers of false prophets within the church. Before telling about the false prophets in 2Pet.2:1 onwards, we are warned to “give all diligence to add virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love to our faith” (2Pet.1:3-8) so that we can be fruitful. Before telling about the false prophets in Jude 4 onwards, we are urged to “contend earnestly for the faith” which is faith in relation to the Word of the Kingdom (Jude 3).

At the end of this age, the tares (all those who offend and practice lawlessness) are gathered and burnt in the fire (Matt.13:40-42). But they are all saved individuals, they possess eternal life and they can never go to eternal hell. They will be saved, yet so as through fire (1Cor.3:15). What is this fire? To understand this, look at all the word “hell” in the New Testament. The original word used is Gehenna (Geenna in Greek, GeHinnom in Hebrew).

Gehenna is a place in the deep Valley of Hinnom outside, but adjacent to the city of Jerusalem (2Chron.33:6, Jer.7:31). All the refuse from the city of Jerusalem is taken outside the walls of the city and is dumped in this place. In the case of some hardened criminals, after pronouncing capital punishments, the judge orders that their bodies be thrown in this place to be burnt with the rubbish there. It refers to a place of shame and suffering just on the outer side of the city of the great King (Matt.5:35). The word Gehenna appears 12 times in the N.T., eleven times told by our Lord and once by James. (Matt.5:22, 29,30, 10:28, 18:9, 23:15,33, Mark 9:43,45,47, Luke 12:5, James 3:6)

This word Gehenna, has been wrongly translated as Hell in many versions of the Bible. The Lord did not use this word while speaking about eternal issues. But He used it always in connection with the Kingdom of the Heavens, while referring to the judgment of believers (saved), and the state of those believers who were found unworthy to enter and occupy proffered positions inside His Kingdom. Beware! If we do not bear fruit, we will have no place in the coming glorious kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we will be in a place of shame and suffering (weeping and gnashing) on the outer side of the kingdom during the Millennial Era.